Your summer-ready short-let property checklist for more 5-star reviews

Van Sky People

The short term rental market continues to be a big opportunity for homeowners and landlords looking for a better rental income, or to offset economic uncertainties.

To make sure that it grows without hiking up the price for local tenants, many cities have introduced regulations. They balance a fair supply of long term housing for residents with a healthy offer of short term lettings for visitors.

For example, London introduced the 90-day cap rule for short term lettings  in 2015, while Barcelona and Lisbon have a licence system in place. Bangkok, on the other hand, simply forbids lets shorter than 30 days.

Data suggests that strict compliance with local regulations has helped Airbnb’s accommodation market share in London to triple in 2017, from 2.8% to 7.6% of overnight stays (the rest being hotels, other homestays, B&Bs…).

To make the most of their 90-day allowance, or simply of their away-time during the holidays, many homeowners and landlords list their properties over the months. Indeed, it’s a lovely time for leisure travellers to visit the UK’s capital, and nightly rates for accommodation go up accordingly.

Preparing your property for the high season

Travellers are looking for the perfect family getaway or need short term accommodation to attend weddings, cultural events or some of the many events available over the period. Most properties can expect to be booked full for the months of June, July and August – so how can you prepare for the and ensure everything runs smoothly?

The number of listings on short let platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway or Booking.com can increase over the summer period, as homeowners rent out their empty properties while they are away on holiday (which means more competition).

Take a look at our top tips to stand out and give every single guest a great experience, so as to get great reviews, and thus great visibility. Here’s what you need to get right to maximise yields and attract more guests for the rest of the year.

1. Safety and compliance

While it’s tempting to dive directly into your property’s interior design or welcome pack, safety and compliance come first. We’ve put together some basic rules to make your short-term rental safe here, but in a nutshell, do consider:

  • fire safety: smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire safety check, clear escape route, fire extinguisher,
  • gas safety: regular boiler checks and gas safety check,
  • appliances: portable appliance check,
  • emergency: first-aid kit, emergency numbers available,
  • locks: modern locks or even a smart lock can be great additions.

Always follow guidance to ensure the building is safe and everything inside your property is safe to use. The Fire Safety law applies to all properties where guests pay to stay, so pay particular attention to fire exit routes and evacuation plans, and regularly get electrics tested by a professional.

2. Consider your minimum night stay

Many listings have a two-night minimum stay year round, and this makes a lot of sense for most months. However, during the high season where there is a lot of demand, pushing that minimum higher can be rewarding.

Why not reconsider this for the peak season to maximise your rental income? With more families travelling for leisure and less business travellers, guests are likely to look for longer stays, so consider whether a 3-5 night minimum stay might be more appropriate for the summer months.

Besides, visitors who stay longer tend to spend more in the local area, so you would be helping local businesses in a period that is often difficult for them (as many of their regulars may be away).

3. Review prices daily

It’s peak season, which means reviewing your prices every day becomes even more important. You may already be following our advice on how to best price your short-term rental property, but these elements are even more important in the high season.

Be sure to:

  • check local events regularly, as well as any travel trend which may impact where people wish to stay,
  • check local listings to adapt your strategy accordingly,
  • have different prices for different periods of the summer (Wimbledon, Olympia fairs, festivals…)
  • check your amenities regularly to remain competitive,
  • maybe use a few other platforms to tap into different markets (Booking.com is strong in Europe, while Expedia is the leader in North America for instance).

The pricing team at Hostmaker is especially busy over that period, to help thousands of clients to optimise their pricing startegies.

using data and exclusive algorithms to select the best possible price for your listing. Hostmaker can help you increase income by 30% – and you’re literally not investing any extra money or time.

4. Keep up communications

Communication with guests before, during and after their stay is vital for a five star experience. When hosts are busy they can easily forget to check in on guests to see if they need anything, which is a rookie error. Hostmaker provides 24/7 guest support to make sure guests are left feeling valued and coming back for your superior service.

5. Don’t forget summertime extras

Listings should offer a personal touch for all guests, whether it’s a local delicacy waiting for them when they arrive, or luxurious toiletries to use during their stay and take home. Why not improve these little extras for the summer?

If the temperature rises, setting up a fan in the bedroom is but a small gesture and it can go a long way towards creating the perfect guest experience.

If you need a helping hand during the busy summer season let us know. Happy hosting!